Chef Chico Vilchez, a native of Michoacan, Mexico, began his culinary career with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in 1985. Initially hired as a dishwasher at Italian restaurant Avanzare, Vilchez took an interest in cooking and eventually worked his way through a variety of kitchen positions, including prep, line cook and kitchen manager. In 1998, Vilchez met Chef Randy Zweiban, who was on the verge of opening Nacional 27, Chicago’s first taste of modern Latin cooking. Under Zweiban's leadership, Vilchez further developed his passion for Latin flavors, ingredients and recipes and soon was appointed Sous Chef. The two worked as a dynamic team until Zweiban’s departure in 2007. Today, Vilchez serves as the Executive Chef of Nacional 27. In addition to his dedication to creating new dishes and menus for the restaurant, Vilchez enjoys spending time with his family. His daughter and son are very eager to learn cooking techniques from him and plan to follow in his culinary footsteps.

Nacional 27